Just as there are physical effects for physical causes, there are spiritual effects for spiritual causes. There are unseen spiritual laws just as there are unseen natural laws. They affect human beings just as predictably. The degree to which we have internalized those spiritual laws determines the quality of our character, whether we reflect righteousness or sin in our attitude and behavior. Humans must be in harmony with the spiritual realm, and the spiritual laws of God. There is a cause for every effect.
In the USA TODAY newspaper of February 18, 1999, a group called Advocates for Youth compared sexual activity of teenagers in four different countries. The article reported that U.S. teens become sexually active at 15.8 years of age on the average, earlier than their counterparts in the other countries. U.S. women between the ages of 15 and 19 have live births at a rate four times that of women in Germany, and have an abortion rate more than double the abortion rate of teen women in France!
Advocates for Youth recommends American teens adopt the approach of "rights, responsibility, and respect" as practiced in the other countries. As the article points out, a Kaiser Family foundation study supports the observation that: "Sex is commonplace on American television, but the risks and consequences of having sex rarely merit even a passing comment."
Certainly education, responsibility, and respect are extremely important. Teens ought to know the risks and consequences of their sexual activity. But there is another dimension to the problem. It is not just about statistics. It is not just about social strategies and social consequences. It is also about the character of a nation.
Just as there are physical effects for physical causes, there are spiritual effects for spiritual causes. There are unseen spiritual laws just as there are unseen natural laws. They affect human beings just as predictably. The degree to which we have internalized those spiritual laws determines the quality of our character, whether we reflect righteousness or sin in our attitude and behavior. Humans must be in harmony with the spiritual realm, and the spiritual laws of God. There is a cause for every effect. For example, the book of I CORINTHIANS in the Bible tells us, (6:18 ) "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." [KJV]
Sin damages not only the body, but the mind as well. As the Creator of the human body and mind tells us in I John 3:4, "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." [KJV] Sin brings about the penalty of pain, suffering, and eternal death.
Teenagers—and adults—need to understand the moral and spiritual consequences of sexual activity, not just the physical consequences.
In the eyes of God, purposely taking the life of a child is murder whether the child is born or still in the womb of its mother. Wholesale abortion is a heinous crime and a sin that results in the eternal death penalty. Sexual immorality is also a sin that results in the eternal death penalty. As the Bible states in ROMANS 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Yes, a person can be forgiven after repentance and baptism in the name of Christ as the Apostle Peter states in Acts 2:38. But make no mistake: sin brings about death, eternal death.
Anciently, there was a particularly sinful nation called the Amorites—they killed children too! God told the patriarch Abraham in Genesis 15:16, that "the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete." Yes, God is patient, but the iniquity of our western world is fast becoming complete or full. Notice what evil practices the Amorites indulged in and consider whether we in our western world have similar applications of wicked behaviors. What did the Amorites do? The NIV Study Bible tells us that Canaanite "'worship' was polytheistic and included child sacrifice, idolatry, religious prostitution and divination." The wicked Amorites were judged by God and paid a national penalty.
And the immoral, sinful, idolatrous, and murderous practices of our western nations will also be judged! There is still time to repent and change. But if we, as the ancient Amorites, persist in living ever increasingly licentious and evil lives, we will be judged and pay the penalty of individual and national punishment and destruction.
God tells us there are consequences to our physical and moral decisions and practices. He states in PROVERBS 14:34, "Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people."
Which shall it be for your nation? And which shall it be for you?
I'm Richard Ames for the Living Church of God.